Today’s potluck is comfort food themed. This left the door open to so many different foods. The only problem is that my comfort foods don’t work well with Ben’s entrée of meatball subs and/or grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup. My comfort foods are eggplant parmesan, bagels with lox, noodle pudding, beef burgundy – foods that are either the star of the show, or I’ve already cooked recently on this blog. I decided to go for a different favorite, green beans and spaetzle. My dad would prepare the Bird’s Eye version to go along with a steak for dinner on busy work nights. I decided to take things up a notch and cook the whole dish from scratch, including the spaetzle.
Now I should mention that my dad has given me flack lattely for in his view underrating the difficulty of some dishes. I’m not going to sugar coat this dish, making spaetzle is a right pain. It is messy and requires a lot of quick work. So this recipe is not for everyone, but if you have a good sense of adventure and are willing to clean up whatever mess you make I recommend giving it a try at least once. And if it turns out well you’ll have a great dish to make for potlucks and nice dinners for years to come.
Bavarian Green Beans and Spaetzle – 3 Knives (Spaetzle recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons salt
Green Bean Ingredients:
- 1 32 oz package of frozen cut green beans
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1 small white onion
- ½ cup beer (lager, pilsner or anything light – I used Miller Lite that I am trying to get rid of)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- One hour before you plan to cook the actual spaetzle, make the spaetzle dough by combining the flour, eggs, egg white and milk in a small bowl.
- Stir well until everything is well incorporated.
- Chill the spaetzle dough in the fridge for at least an hour prior to cooking.
Cooking the Spaetzle:
- In a large pot of water add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- In the meantime fill a large bowl with water and about 1 cup of ice to create an ice bath.
- Place half of the dough in a colander with circular holes, and using a spatula or the back of a spoon press the dough through the colander and into the boiling water. I highly recommend wearing an oven mitt on the hand holding the colander over the water.
- Once the dough is pressed through allow to boil for two minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the spaetzle from the pot and transfer it into the bowl with the ice bath.
- Once you have removed most of the spaetzle (getting all will be tough), repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining dough.
- Set the spaetzle aside in the bowl to be added to the green beans later in the recipe.
Green Bean Prep:
- Add the frozen green beans to a large pot of water and set on high heat to bring to a boil.
- Remove the skin from the onion and chop it into a fine dice. Set the onion aside.
- Cut the bacon strips into small ½ inch pieces. I just used the lean parts of the bacon, removing the excess fat.
- Measure and set aside ½ cup of beer.
Cooking the Beans:
- Once the green beans are boiling turn off the heat and strain the green beans, setting them aside.
- Heat up a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot add the bacon.
- Cook the bacon for about 1-2 minutes until some of the fat has released.
- Add the onions to the pan and cook with the bacon for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add the beer, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Once the liquid has boiled for about 2-3 minutes remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the green beans and stir well.
- Strain the spaetzle making sure to get ride of any access water.
- Finally add the spaetzle, mix well, serve and enjoy!